2019 Vehicle/Economy/Misc Unit Balance

Discussion in 'Balance Discussions' started by Killerkiwijuice, March 15, 2019.

  1. xankar

    xankar Post Master General

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    So, I’m going to reiterate some of the stuff talked about in the PA Official Discord regarding T2 mex.

    Overall proposal is to decrease the amount of metal produced by the T2 metal extractor.

    I've juggled around with some numbers in my head, decreasing T2 mex income from 20m/s -> 12 or 14m/s, but that's just an idea.

    A big point of contention is T2 rushing in the current meta. A lot of it boils down to whether it’s a good idea (does it make the game more interesting?), and whether any reasonable increase in the price of the factory will actually deter players from rushing it (generally, no).

    Quitch brings up a good point about this: “what merit is there to an artificial extension of a tier's dominance? What does it bring? What new avenues for strategy does it open?”

    I would reason that the answer is that it doesn’t bring any merit to the game, and that adjusting the price of the T2 factory is not the way to go with regards to adjusting the game’s current T2 dominance.

    With that in mind, I would also reason that the largest issue with T2 at the moment comes from the economical dominance and less so about unit dominance (while still an issue I believe, it’s just not the most pressing one). Right now, T2 eco has an overwhelming advantage over T1 metal to the point that having more map control is all but obsolete in the face of a few T2 mex. Brings up the issue of “why bother with map control when T2 metal does it all for you”.

    For example, The Ardennes has 79 metal total with 13 metal at your spawn. In a normal game you’ll have around 12 – 18 (depending on the size of a map) T1 mex by the time you start work on your T2 for a total of ~120 metal or so. Which is a fine number that will continue to increase and/or decrease as you raid and get raided. Come 7 minutes into the game and you got your T2 factory out and by 8 minutes, you’ll have your T2 fabber. By the time you start getting those T2 mex building, your eco will begin to explode until you have 351 metal only on the 13 mex you built inside your base. In an ideal expansion situation on this map, you’ll have secured 33 T1 mex, for a total of 231 metal. In a match where you absolutely go ham on expanding, you could hope to have secured 45 T1 mex, for a total of 315 metal.

    I think you can see where I’m going here. Obviously a player who could manage to expand out and reach 45 T1 mex on The Ardennes wouldn’t only be going T1. They’d be upgrading to T2 and getting the T2 mex same as any player.

    However, while the expansion game heavily favors the player who doesn’t rush T2, if you're rushing T2 at 5 and a half minutes anyways, you'll be done with your mex by 10-11 minutes. In an evenly matched game, people will be expanding and such so having full map control because your opponent rushed T2 isn't something you could ever hope to expect in an actual 1v1. If you build enough T1 then eventually you'll outproduce his 4 or 5 T1 factories and you will surely secure map control, but you'll ultimately be behind by the time they get T2 eco rolling out. That's the issue. Those 10 T2 mex will keep you going through thick and thin. End of the day, map control doesn't matter if you're building T2 eco. If you opt for forsaking T2 until a little later, but your opponent still rushes it out, the T2 mex will quickly outproduce your T1 map control in no time.

    T2 mex is too strong for T1 to have much if any relevance in games. The thing is that every player rushes T2, so keeping T2 mex alive isn't hard when T1 pressure on the main base is next to impossible. It also doesn't help that the commander's AA has been buffed significantly so air sniping T2 fabbers is an extremely costly objective with T1 air. Drops are also a thing, but so are fabber trains. Also, with point defense being so cheap and quick to build, there’s little in the way that you can do in sniping T2 fabbers.

    So since you can’t stop T2 fabbers, can’t kill T2 mex, and can’t out eco a T2 rush with T1 map control, I’d say that addressing the explosive power of T2 mex is in order.

    With all that said, I think it’s reasonable to assert that T2 mex are the underlying issue of T2. Increasing the cost of T2 has never addressed this issue and likely never will since the boon of T2 mex is far too powerful when a T2 factory is ultimately a meager investment towards that goal.

    To restate, the issue is about the futility of T1 macro and early game map control in the face of T2 eco.

    In my opinion, T1 eco should be the crutch by which you support your T2 factories, not a crutch to be discarded once you build your first T2 factory. Ideally, T2 eco shouldn't instantly "fix" your economy as much as it should complement it. Lastly, T2 eco should be the means by which you transition into your late-game and not the be all end all of the mid-game through to late-game.

    -----------------
    Anways, less of a "here's the data, go fix it" post and more of a general overview of what I find to be the largest issue right now. If someone wants to play with some numbers, please do. I plan on doing some number tweaking myself sometime this weekend with a follow up post.

    Thoughts?
  2. Pwn4two

    Pwn4two Member

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    I think addressing the issue of T2 eco (metal) being too strong will positively impact silver and gold ranked play more than it will uber ranked play: A silver player who is trying to learn how to expand well and produce lots of units right now may well be punished and defeated by another similarly ranked player who prefers to "rush" T2 and spam defences etc.

    I think the transition from silver to gold should be based on better map control and awareness of the importance of playing the "early game"; before T2.
  3. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    My pros and cons of reducing t2 metal income:
    Pros:
    1. Expansion becomes more important. Expansion is most important in the early and mid game but not so much in the late game. Reducing t2 metal income will balance it out where expansion is important at all times.
    2. T2 rushes will be less powerful on all maps. The building of the first t2 factory will be offset maybe a few minutes depending on the nerf details.
    3. Turtling is nerfed. Less eco means a player cannot build as many defenses. And more expansion means that surrounding a player who had turtled is much more effective now that they dont get as much metal from t2 mex.
    Cons:
    1. Less eco means less units, which means more micro. It will make the player need to make every unit count. I dont think this game needs any more micro than it already does.
    2. Less eco will make games longer. With less units and equal HP it will take longer to kill things. Specifically commanders and bases.
    3. Less eco might actually make air stronger. The current spinner buff means that ground armies can be pumped out very fast compared to air. Gaining a critical mass of air bombers will be more powerful with less spinners on the ground. Also, making expansion more important makes air more important since air is the best way to attack and protect expansions.
    I agree with the nerfs but 12 or 14 is too low I think. I think 16 will be the sweet spot.
    Last edited: March 26, 2019
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  4. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    My suspicion is that less eco won't mean less units, it'll mean less T2 units. If expansion becomes more important, then you have heavier reliance on map presence which means a need to keep up with T1 units to limit enemy expansion and secure your own. Simply using T2 but less won't put you in enough places on the map. This is all woven from whole cloth of course, so who knows.

    I experimented with simply making T2 metal the same as T1 at one point, since then you had the choice between riskier expansion with cheaper and more efficient structures, or building the more expensive, tougher and easier to defend ones. It would have been a dramatic change that required probably too much of a change to the game, but I've been banging the T2 eco is the T2 problem drum for a while and I'd certainly like to see some experimentation in this area. Especially as I think increasing T2 factory costs just moves T2 further towards assisted factories over factory expansion.
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  5. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Yes it will reduce t2 unit count, but a good player wont stop making t1 factories after he gets t2 up. T1 units are great as filler units to soak up damage. And obviously non 1v1 needs to be considered as well.
    huangth likes this.
  6. w33dkingca

    w33dkingca Active Member

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    I see the cost as a problem, I think it might stagnate the game at transition, favouring no more expansion and a focus on rushing out a killing blow force, being able to transition smoothly while allowing Field Play to continue as normal would be a hard balancing act. Economies would stall so rushing out those tr2 units to kill map control or the enemy straight up might remain more favourable. And then were back to turtling and doing the new/old sit back and macro tr2 harder as anymore tr1 and map control becomes a disadvantage.
    I think build cost of the extractor will need played with to allow a smoother transition while maintaining the play for the map, if it allows it as tr2 units are so strong they're still going to cause the dent that leads to players being so turtly and focused on transition negating map control in favour of a stronger position in tr2 unit count and economically. Not to mention the focus it takes to transition effectively.
    I say tr1 units and their presence on the field early should be addressed aswell as tr2 economy, the openers and style all push towards turtlier play from the get go as there isn't enough mass early to negate it happening.
  7. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    i quickly just want to mention that we should consider multiplanet economy as well, including gas giants

    i do agree that t2 mexxes should get at least a slight nerf in metalproduction so a degree expansion is still neccesary over t2 eco rushing ..

    there is however also the problem of jigs offering too much eco were once you get into orbital multiplanet play either your economy skyrockets with gasgiants or wihout it it takes quite a while to get a fair orbital force going
    so there needs to be a ballance between surfaceplanet economy and gasgiant/orbital economy to have a smoother rise of overall economy to acompany the level of escalating battletheaters ... so maybe as someone mentioned in the forum before jigs should as well produce less metal and no power at all, were instead for orbital power solararrays get used as a costeffiecient alternative for surfacepower but at the risk of being vulnerable ...
  8. nosebreaker

    nosebreaker Post Master General

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    The Nosebreaker thinks xankar May well have nailed the issue. If you don’t make t2 back to 7 to 9 k cost in metal to delay it and slow multiples down . Then a very good approach is the xankar approach drop the production of t 2.. as for silvers and golds . The Nosebreaker shall speak for them as he is a glorious gold. We the people of the lower tier shall adjust to a lower t2 mex Extractor production values.. the whole idea of map control becoming important again is very exciting. The map makers already put soooooooo many metal points on the 1v1 maps any way. Maybe just have the t 2 produce 7 metal same as t1 extractor......... Stop and think about that. Stop look and listen . You know The Xankar solution could be final solution for t 2 !!!!
  9. w33dkingca

    w33dkingca Active Member

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    Lobs give too much too quick imo. Im surprised players don't just go lob all the time.
  10. w33dkingca

    w33dkingca Active Member

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    Further thought, just, nah.
    Last edited: April 11, 2019
  11. grandhomie

    grandhomie Active Member

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    https://github.com/grandhomie/com.pa.grandhomie.metalbalance/archive/master.zip
    ^ If anyone is interested in trying the 14m/s advanced metal extractors. I most likely will never have time to play enough games with this balance to come up with any relevant data but fwiw I've been thinking the same as xankar for a while.
    This mod should hopefully go live soon but in the meantime you can download it, extract it and copy it in your server_mods directory (create it in your data directory if needed - https://wiki.palobby.com/wiki/Planetary_Annihilation_Data_Directory) and enable it in Community Mods ("installed" tab).
    NikolaMX and xankar like this.
  12. xankar

    xankar Post Master General

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    Thank you, Homie. I'll give it a looksee tomorrow morning or evening.
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  13. retardedtactician

    retardedtactician New Member

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  14. grandhomie

    grandhomie Active Member

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    Yes, I'm creating the mod right now.
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  15. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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  16. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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  17. Clopse

    Clopse Post Master General

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    Some nice changes there. I don't think dox should be allowed attack air. They are good enough at their job.
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  18. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Add it to the doc when you have time ;)

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